Nearly one-fifth of men affected by ED, data show

March 1, 2007

Erectile dysfunction is significantly and independently associated with age, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and lack of physical activity, suggests a study published in The American Journal of Medicine (2007; 120:151-7). Using data obtained from a computerized self-interview, the authors found that 18.4% of men 20 years of age and older experienced ED, defined as “sometimes able” or “never able” to have and keep an erection.

Erectile dysfunction is significantly and independently associated with age, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and lack of physical activity, suggests a study published in The American Journal of Medicine (2007; 120:151-7). Using data obtained from computerized self-interviews by study participants, the authors found that 18.4% of men 20 years of age and older experienced ED, defined as “sometimes able” or “never able” to have and keep an erection.

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, analyzed data from 2,126 men who participated in the 2001-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The study was undertaken to assess the prevalence of ED in the general U.S. male population overall and by age, to assess the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors among individuals with erectile dysfunction, and to determine associations of cardiovascular risk factors, including lack of physical activity, in men with prevalent ED.

Among men with diabetes, the crude prevalence of ED was 51.3%. In multivariable analyses, ED was significantly and independently associated with diabetes and lack of physical activity.

“The association between erectile dysfunction and lack of physical activity suggests that lifestyle changes, especially increasing exercise level, may be effective nonpharmacological treatments,” said lead author Elizabeth Selvin, PhD, MPH.